The humble beginnings of Julie’s Bakeshop will remind us that it’s never too late to start a business. Julia Gandionco was already 50 years old when she started what is now one of the Philippines’ largest bakery chains.
Tita Julie or Ma’am Julie, as she prefers to be called, initially started Julie’s Bakeshop as a way to augment the bread needs of their canteens. Now, Julie’s Bakeshop has more than 500 branches all over the country. Julie’s Bakeshop has its roots in Mandaue City.
Tita Julie had her first canteen when she bagged the canteen concessionaire at PHILDACAN, a rattan factory. After a year, she was offered to run another canteen on PHILDACAN’s sister company, Admacor. Another year later, she opened her third canteen at the La Union Carbide factory.
With three canteens under her wing, Tita Julie soon realized there was a growing demand for bread. She was a bit hesitant at first to venture into a bakery, having no background in making bread. But the determined Tita Julie finally took her chances.
On January 6, 1981, the first Julie’s Bakeshop opened. Tita Julie offered hot and freshly-made bread products for all. According to Tita Julie, her bakeshop was born out of “a growing need for bread products and a strong faith in God.”
The first branch of Julie’s Bakeshop was so successful that they were able to open a second branch just three months after. In three years, Julie’s Bakeshop grew to 10 branches all over Cebu. Since then, has become one of the most recognizable bakeshops in the country.
In her autobiography, Tita Julie recalled that her motivation to succeed was the hunger to prove herself. She wanted to become more than a housewife. She was quoted in Inquirer as saying, “In a way, I was poor. I was hungry, maybe not for food but for self-achievement. I thought there must be something more I can do than just being a housewife. I was very determined to succeed, in whatever came my way.”
Tita Julie said she wanted to inspire and motivate other mothers to dream big and work hard for it.